"There was one bolt of lightning and it went in one end of the barn and out the other."
Beverly Blagrave will never forget what it was like to grow up on the family farm near Rawdon. There were no electric lights or household appliances, and a good team of horses were as valuable as rain and sunlight for the crops of the field. Her father Orland’s gentle pair hauled the loads, pulled the machinery and delivered the milk. Beverly and her sister gathered berries in season, helped their mother with chores, and did their homework by lamp-light on the kitchen table after supper.
In the 1940s and 1950s the poor condition of the roads in this part of the Lanaudiere countryside meant travel by any kind of automobile was difficult, if not impossible, during much of the year. One thing you could count on, though, was a helping hand in a time of need. That time came for the Blagrave family one summer evening when a lightning storm touched off a devastating barn fire.